The crossroads

Yesterday the House of Commons voted by 340 to 256 in favour of the Conservative government’s Internal Market Bill, which undermines the devolution settlement and threatens international law. No Scottish Conservative MP voted against the bill. Now there’s a surprise. This is a bill which is opposed by the Scottish Parliament, and despite the Conservatives themselves signing up to the proposition that no Westminster Government should ever be able to alter the devolution settlement without the express consent of Holyrood, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

The bill not only seizes certain devolved powers for Westminster, powers which have hitherto been exercised by the EU on Scotland’s behalf, it goes a lot further. It will see Scottish legislation being overseen by an unelected committee of Conservative appointees and struck down if they are deemed to be incompatible with the UK internal market. This bill also gives UK ministers the right to spend on devolved areas in Scotland like health or education.

This is what the Tories mean by strengthening the union. They mean imposing policies on Scotland that Scotland doesn’t want. They mean overruling Scotland’s own democratically elected bodies. They mean lecturing us about the meaning of democracy while they themselves traduce it. They mean telling us that we have to respect the result of the 2014 referendum while they trash all the promises that they made to win it.

This is a historic development in Scottish politics. A Westminster Conservative Government that Scotland did not vote for and which is pursuing policies which Scotland does not support has unilaterally decided to rewrite the devolution settlement. Naturally this is headline news in the Scottish media. Oh wait. Nope. It’s buried away under a ton of other stuff, and its impact is minimised to discussions about food standards instead of being exposed as the all out assault on the devolution settlement that it really is.

According to the Tories, this bill is necessary because of the SNP. Yes really. They’re blaming the SNP for Brexit now. Small Business Minister Paul Scully said on Good Morning Scotland that the bill was only necessary because the SNP had walked away from talks. Which isn’t actually true, but since when did the Tories ever allow the truth to get between themselves and some political point scoring. What the Tories are really complaining about is that the Scottish Parliament won’t just roll over and play dead. At every step along the way during the Brexit negotiations, and the pandemic, the Conservatives have sidelined and ignored not just the SNP, but the entire Scottish Government and Parliament, the Welsh Government and Parliament, and only paid attention to one faction in Northern Ireland when they needed the DUP’s votes. This is a Tory mess, put together to a Tory recipe, cooked in a Tory oven, and served up on a Tory plate.

Anyone who is paying attention can now see that the devolution settlement is not and cannot be safe within the UK. The safety net provided by the devolution settlement was a key factor in the Better Together campaign in the last independence referendum. Vote no for stronger and better devolution, they told us. They won’t be telling us that again. It is now clear that a devolution settlement which was introduced in order to protect Scotland from the effects of a Conservative government that it didn’t vote for cannot withstand a Conservative Government that is quite happy to ignore the self-denying ordinance that Westminster will refrain from meddling upon which the devolution settlement depends.

When devolution was introduced its opponents were reassured by a Labour government which told them that a power devolved was a power retained. Indeed that’s why we have the word devolution in the first place. It was intended to represent the delegation of some of Westminster’s power to a body that was always to be regarded as subordinate to the supremacy of a Westminster which has invested itself with absolute sovereignty. A power that is delegated remains with the body doing the delegating. It’s only since Brexit that Scotland has seen that devolution is incapable of performing as that bulwark of protection which it was sold to Scotland as being. What was sold to Scotland as a partnership can be unilaterally altered by one of the parties to the agreement. Scotland can’t make unilateral changes to the devolution settlement, but Westminster can and does.

There’s a couple of important points here. This bill is a travesty, it’s a disgrace to the devolution settlement, and is the embodiment of Tory bad faith. However despite the fears of some on social media, it does not prevent the Scottish Parliament from pursuing independence. It will not prevent the Scottish Government from holding a referendum under the terms of its Referendum Act and it won’t prevent the Scottish Government from taking legal action to clarify the lawfulness of an independence referendum without a Section 30 order. Neither does it have any impact on a future plebiscite election. (Yes, I know that the Scottish Government have stymied the attempt that is already before the courts to clarify the law. I don’t agree with this decision personally, but it is obviously because they believe that at this stage in the political process it is better to maintain ambiguity. Sometimes ambiguity is useful politically.)

It’s also certainly true that the Conservatives could abolish Holyrood entirely, or could significantly restrict its powers in ways beyond even the measures included in this dreadful bill, but they could always have done that. This bill doesn’t change things in that respect. However the Conservatives know how the polling land lies. They can see the surging support for independence and how the SNP are crushing them in the polls. They won’t make any real moves over and above what’s contained in this bill before the Scottish elections in May next year, because if they did so they know that what is already going to be a difficult election for them will turn into a rout. It is imperative that Scotland tells them at the next Scottish elections that we will not tolerate this any more.

However what will most certainly embolden the Conservatives in Westminster to take further steps to reduce the powers of Holyrood will be if pro-independence parties fail to do well in the next election. Don’t say you’ve not been warned. Scotland stands at a crossroads. One route takes us to independence, the other to infighting, mutual recriminations, Tory domination, and misery for decades to come. You choose.

Comments – I’ve had enough.  Moderation has now become a full time job because people, supposedly adult people, just can’t behave.  If you think that the comments which appear are bad, you should see the stuff that doesn’t make it to publication.  I’ve been getting abuse, personal insults, and there have been posts which are grossly homophobic, racist, or misogynistic.  (Apparently this counts as standing up for women’s rights, who knew?) 

The purpose of this blog is to  make a positive case for independence, to attack the pretensions of British nationalism, and to formulate arguments which will help to persuade no voters, undecideds, and soft yes voters to support independence.  It’s also to boost the morale of those of us who are already involved in this campaign.  I do not provide this platform to allow people to attack others in the movement with whom they disagree.  Other people might choose to use their platforms to do so, I don’t.

So if you want to share your favourite conspiracy theories about Nicola Sturgeon or anyone else in this movement – you can go elsewhere.  I am past caring whether you think that this means you are being censored.  You have no absolute right to use this blog and you most certainly don’t have the right to abuse my hospitality by insulting me personally. 


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221 comments on “The crossroads

  1. crabbitgits says:

    Well said once again Paul. Absolutely on the money. I find your writings and commentary to be to be among the best regarding Scottish Independence there is and will continue to read them as they come. However, and as a final comment, I will not be following what’s BTL any further as I believe it’s becoming way too unbearable. If people would do more to direct their grievances directly towards those they have a problem with they might get somewhere. I don’t envy your job of moderator one little bit. Good health and good luck.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’m about to adopt a much stricter moderation policy. It’s getting out of hand.

      You should see the comments that don’t make it past moderation or which are caught by filters. Some of it is appallingly homophobic, misogynistic or racist. I get personal abuse, insults, and even threats.

      • Legerwood says:

        I enjoy your articles and I am really sorry to hear that you are being subject to abuse. It is not acceptable. But when that level of abuse is levelled at what you write and at you personally it does strongly suggest that the people doing it have no cogent alternative argument to what you write. So keep on doing what you are doing so well.

        PS Gie the dug a pat from me.

      • grizebard says:

        And that’s just from the indy supporters, never mind the BritNats!

        Sorry to add some levity here, because it can’t be very pleasant to be hated as a shining beacon of much-needed positivity, good humour and clear thinking amidst all the negative distractional dross. It’s clear we’re playing for very high stakes indeed here, the future of our people, and your contribution is a very important element in that effort, as the basely vile themselves salute in effect by the attention they pay to this site.

        Keep on shining! If it was up to me, once this is all over, I would give you a campaign medal. You’ve already earned it, so make that two! {grin}

      • I’m a regular reader and very occasional poster on your blog.

        I enjoy reading the comments as much as your articles, as some posters provide links to really useful information.

        I’m sorry to hear you are getting personal abuse and threats. Unfortunately I can only see things getting worse as the desperation of the Brit Nat’s increases as support for Independence rises, so personally I would report the threats to the Police, not just for your own safety, but that of your husband and the dug as well. It is better to nip it in the bud before it is too late.

        Take care, HT.

      • Peter Lawrie says:

        Having worked in IT since 1971, I was a very early adopter of email and social media. My email address includes and always has included my actual name. That seems to be increasingly rare these days. Perhaps if people who post on social media had to be up front and honest about who they actually were, rather than hiding behind a nom-de-plume, one might have a more civilised debate.

      • Petra says:

        Paul to be honest I’m not one bit surprised about the abuse that you’ve been receiving as you’re a real threat to the Union now due to being the number one pro-Independence blogger running one of a very few sites worth supporting now.

        You say that you’re going to adopt a much stricter moderation policy. You could also consider having volunteers help you out and if you get nowhere with that idea we could fundraise to employ a couple of people (or more) to give you a break.

        What we don’t want is for you to burn yourself out, for your sake and also for (my) selfish reasons, and leave us in all in limbo land with no place to go, especially at this critical time in our history.

        I’m sending a great big thankyou to you for all you’ve been doing for the independence cause over many years now Paul. We are truly indebted to you. Take care of yourself X

        ………………………………………..

        Well worth listening to and because that’s the case the speaker just shuts her up.

        Mhairi Black MP:- ”It took us 300 years to get our Scottish Parliament and 20 years for Westminster to put a bulldozer right through it. #InternalMarketBill.” https://mobile.twitter.com/MhairiBlack/status/1311006155414609933

        • weegingerdug says:

          I have actually considered asking for volunteer moderators. The site is currently (behind the scenes) undergoing a major upgrade and revamp. I might still put out an appeal for volunteers – but let’s see how this new strict moderation policy goes first.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Well said Petra, a whip-round would be very quickly organised and expedited for any cost issues, I suspect this is more a case of trusted moderators if changes don’t bring relief, I hope Paul has a shortlist to hand.
          If the last 24 hours proved anything it is that WGD and other moderate bloggers are targets for increasing hostile attacks in the coming months, Scottish media has waning influence so they’re coming after those who have any.
          Thanks for your honest explanation of us only seeing the “nice” nasties Paul, not a lot us oldies can do on the IT end of it, but the Zimmer brigade are available to block doors, crush big toes and occasional testicles (all accidentally of course), Collatin’s Refusiliers has a nice ring to it ?

        • Malcolm Pate says:

          I endorse everything you say Petra. Things are hotting up now at Westminster. It would be good if everyone could assist Paul with the moderating.

        • Mark Robertson says:

          Well said Petra ! Paul we are with you Mate , if you need hauners just give us the Nod !

      • Jill says:

        An excellent article Paul. I’m so sorry you are suffering this awful abuse, please use strict moderation and try not to let it get you down.

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug The crossroads Yesterday the House of Commons voted by 340 to 256 in favour of the Conservative […]

  3. proudcybernat says:

    Can yae just imagine it – IndyRef2 and BT2’s campaign message: “Vote NO to have Devolution returned.”

    Take Devo away now so’s they can offer it back to us during IndyRef2. I really wouldnae put it past them.

    • grizebard says:

      Whit? “Make devo great again”? None but the woefully deluded would surely believe that slogan for a millisecond. Why not make the choice what it really now is: the total abolition of Holyrood or its transformation into a fully-autonomous body? It’s clear that devo is now on life support with no prospect of recovery, and it would be a kindness to the people of Scotland to get them to realise that a futile half-way house at the mercy of another place will never be able to properly protect them from the ways of the world.

      An abused colony or a free country, that’s the only real choice we have. Given that choice, I believe we will choose to be free. Let’s choose.

  4. The Gillies says:

    Paul, I look forward to reading your almost daily utterances and applaud your optimism. I also read similar items elswhere. Now I have been a supporter of independence since Wendy Wood used to change the Border sign a t Berwick. I always believed that independence would come for Scotland. ExceptI now I read of”in fighting,” within the SNP ranks. Blame being pointed at our leader and others for not perusing the correct policies. And more. Never mind the real enemy , the U.K. goverment.
    Is Scotland once again going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This old cover is loosing heart with all shenanigans!

    • Don’t lose heart the Gillies. We WILL win through. Especially when we have the likes of Paul and the dug leading the way. Paul always speaks with a calm and measured tone, others in the movement would do well to heed him.

  5. Ken2 says:

    Thanks for greater moderation. Before even more great blogs are destroyed.

    It is a Bill not passed into Law yet in any shape or form. The Tories illegal legislation could fall by the wayside. It could take years. The Tories will be gone before it is even implemented in any way shape or form. The Tories are having to back down every other day. Forced to by the Courts,

    The Tory mess is becoming unprecedented. A complete and utter shambles of illegal government. Support decreasing daily. An insult to Democracy and people’s rights. Any support tanking. People disgusted by this behaviour. Trying to take people for fools. The dope on a rope. Vote against it.

    Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence.

  6. Ken2 says:

    A Tory calling someone else a liar. A family of liars.

  7. Ken2 says:

    Donation sent for moderation costs.

  8. James Cheyne says:

    My main aim is an independent Scotland and nation, I try to be civil to every one on all the sites, because my aim is to inform,
    I have been trying to inform the Scottish people that they are sovereign above all else, including governments and monarchies, that we have as a nation the right to choose whom governs us.
    Our own Holyrude is a lion without teeth, no matter what political party rules,
    Some times we involuntary give our power to others without realising it.
    The power is the people.
    When we ask Westminster for a section 30, we give Westminster the power,
    When we ask the Scottish government to act on our behalf we give them our power.
    We, the people are the power and we are sovereign, it can only be taken from us by our own inertia and by letting laws slip over us and accepting them without opposition.
    For me there is no better governing body than the sovereign people and nation of Scotland as a whole, everyone should govern as a nation, not a political party,
    But our nation sleeps, while it’s sovereignty is slowly being eroded,
    Why fight in two world wars for freedom, then allow it to be anchored down to politics.
    This is our fight.
    Our freedom.
    Our democracy.
    Our sovereignty.
    Our right.
    As a nation to make that call, to speak out.

    • Julia Gibb says:

      When I call in someone to fix my roof, my boiler, my TV etc I don’t tell them how to do the job. I don’t demand they do it differently because I read something on line.
      When the FM and her team are doing the job they were elected to do, then I support them until they fail. I will then look at the Party rules and with others to look at change.
      We should all be united in backing one Party to enable us to cross the line and gain Independence.

      We can achieve nothing until Scotland is Independent. I do not doubt your passion for one moment but frustration at the speed leads to mistakes.

      We either all cross the line together or we fail.

      Scotland is not sleeping! She is awakening after 300 years! Screaming at her as she comes out of her slumber is not going to help.

      I want to win the next Referendum and that will not happen without the SNP.
      Remember that many, many people make up the SNP.

      Divided campaigns never succeed.

      Remember all those over decades who worked to put us here and will never see Independence.

      I hear all the speeches about plan B,C, D etc unfortunately most come from those who want to destroy all chance of gaining Independence.

      I do not know which Party I will vote for in the first election in an Independent Scotland. I only know which one will get us there.

    • Margaret Barrie says:

      Oh, I so wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. I have lived my life as a sovereign Scot and have acted accordingly at every challenging opportunity, but I also firmly believe that we must all come together behind the only vehicle … apart from ourselves … that will spearhead the final great surge to achieving the restoration of our country’s Independence and that vehicle has to be the
      SNP. Our sole focus at this stage in our long road to Independence has to be uniting to achieve that aim. That is the goal! Like it or loathe it, only the SNP can take us there … with our backing and support. That’s not to say we cannot be vocal in putting forward how and when this should be done, but … as Paul says … we must NOT allow those who would divide us, distract us or divert us to achieve their aim. United we stand … divided we fall. Once our dream is realised and transition to Independence fully realised, only then, we as sovereign Scots can back the type of government we wish to see lead us into the future.

      • I agree
        Furthermore , I do sympathise with those who say they support Scottish independence
        and also criticise SNP and criticise Nicola Sturgeon.

        I do not agree with their criticisms I think SNP and Nicola Sturgeon do a wonderful job
        Not perfect
        But wonderful in extremely difficult circumstances
        We think we have it bad being Indy supporters with BBC and England’s Westminster telling lies all the time ,their supporters in most of the media backing them up and generally having another country working against our best interests

        BUT…imagine being in the Scottish government as an SNP MP or being their leader with another country working against you it must , absolutely it must be so much worse.

        Julia Gibb said earlier that when you choose a leader to do a job you have to get behind them and let them do the job and support them until the job is done.
        All those who think SNP and Nicola Sturgeon are not going about things the way they think they should need to get in line with the rest of us and let the leader and the SNP do their thing their way.

        If it fails…..we will have a new leader chosen and the SNP will be changed or replaced
        But we have to let this leader and the SNP plan run its course.

  9. Julia Gibb says:

    If I have read the small print of this Bill correctly then the powers and coverage are massive.
    Westminster could for example spend millions on a pipe work infrastructure to send fresh water from Scotland to England.
    They would claim the infrastructure was a Westminster gift and slap a UJ on the very pipes stealing another asset.

    The text of the Bill is so vague they can literally put themselves at the centre of every area of our Nation ignoring Holyrood.

    Now some may argue they wouldn’t do that! Forgive me if I scoff and that notion.

    What Boris is claiming is a front for the actual purpose of the Bill. It goes far beyond the debated EU returning powers.

    This Bill is a very carefully designed bypass around Holyrood.

    • Capella says:

      And then charge us for the cost. It isn’t a gift.

    • Peter Lawrie says:

      It wouldn’t be millions. The cost would be many billions and a barnett-share of the cost would be added to GERS.

      • Ken2 says:

        They already do that. They wouldn’t be there forever. Support Increasing to vote against them. Until the time is right to go for Independence. Just vote for it.

        It takes a while for a contentious Bill to get through to Law. Often many fall by the wayside. The mess left has to be sorted out and contained by others. Constantly. The Courts are having to sort out their mess continually even now. At more expense.

        The Westminster ignoramuses, can still be held to account. Till they disappear through the ether. With their ill gotten loot. Who wants the poisoned chalice?

  10. John Muir says:

    As I gave up on Twitter years ago (long before even indyref1) I can’t say I understand the squabbling among us Yessers at all. I’m not even a member of the SNP, so I’m hardly a “Nicola Sturgeon loyalist” as the labelling now goes. What I see is true mainstream breakthrough for independence. What I see is progress beyond anything we achieved before.

    But jeezo, what’s all this hatred of her about besides, yes, throwing it all away for Rule Britannia? How do you spread a poison so shameless and obvious as that? By hanging with your guys on Twitter, throwing Tweets at enemies real and imagined, while doing nothing for the cause. It’s such a waste. Fortunately for Scotland, it is also just a niche, as they’d find out if they ever ran for office. Twitter polls aren’t the ballot box, lads! Independence comes strictly from the latter.

    • grizebard says:

      Well grounded there, John. The air can get very rarified up on the online indy high horses. Besides the poisonous gases emanating from others.

  11. James Cheyne says:

    Where did my first comment of the day go, I said nothing bad, abusive or condescending to anyone.

  12. James Cheyne says:

    Sorry spoke to soon, thanks Paul.

  13. Thanks for keeping the trolls away, Paul. There’s software for WordPress called Akismet which might help, if you’re not using it already: https://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’m already using it. I’ve put a few of the whingers in permanent pre-moderation today. They won’t be allowed to comment in future unless they’re not spouting their conspiracy crap and I have personally approved their comment.

      I’ve been far too tolerant and some people want to take advantage of it to trash this blog. That’s not going to happen.

      • I guess that software isn’t as effective as I thought it was, Paul. I’m sorry you have to put up with so much crap. I for one would understand if you took a break from it for a bit and blocked all comments for a while.

  14. Liz g says:

    Paul why don’t you put a ” contact button ” on the page like Wings has ?
    Then some of your regulars can share the load by reporting abuse to you!
    Although if you did can you put a time limit on it , some ( and I’m not sayin who 🙂 ) read and comment at stupid o’clock and are never sure if it’s appropriate to fire of a message .

  15. skintybroko says:

    Thanks Paul, another brilliant summation of the here and now on the UK “infernal” market bill. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and hope you continue to post even if you have to shutdown comments all together, which judging by your comment above is probably a wise thing to do, at least for a few weeks to give you time to get away from the insults.

  16. David Agnew says:

    “The First duty of Conservatives is to uphold the law. If it tries to bob and weave and duck around the duty when it is inconvenient, if it does that, then so will the governed. Then nothing is safe. Not home. Not liberty. Not life itself.” Margaret Thatcher.

    I can’t believe that I have had to quote that woman to her own party. Because her party decided to do that very thing. They voted to be law breakers. The voted to a be party of crooks, villains and shifty spivs, that’d make Flash Harry from St. Trinian’s look like a saint. They’re like the Nazis from that sketch were they wonder if they’re the bad guys, only they are laughing and slapping each other on the back

    “Guess what – WE are the Bad guy’s what jolly japes!”

    Do not ask at who the Spiv smirks at. He smirks at you.

  17. One_Scot says:

    Paul, I really admire your enthusiasm and belief that it will all work out in the end, and I really hope it does.

    But my fear is that not enough of the Scottish voting public will ever be aware of all the wrong doings of Westminster against Scotland that you forensically present here day in day out, due to the unionist controlled media.

    And I don’t think the SNP themselves will do it well enough, if at all.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      “due to the unionist controlled media”

      Everyone says that as though it’s an undeniable fact, but here’s sample online headlines right now:

      Herald “PMQs: Johnson asked why ‘Scotland doesn’t trust him'” and “Downing Street will not rule out using Scottish Islands for asylum processing plan”

      Record “Boris Johnson accused of shattering trust in Westminster by driving through Brexit trading plans” along with a wild hair picture of him, and “Trust in the UK Government among Scots plummets to record low, survey finds”

      I think they’re all hedging their bets these days – criticising both governments! Which of course is actually their job – holding governments to account.

      • grizebard says:

        When at least one of the Dead Tree Scrolls in Scotland finally goes over the tipping point, as the Sunday Herald of yore did back in ’14, you’ll know for sure that it’s “game over” for the Union.

        So who’s gonna gain the kudos for being the first, eh, brave editors…?

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    “Small Business Minister” sounds like someone who drops little poos.

    Anyways, I wonder if everything else going on is a bit of a distraction for this, the main game in town. A whole load of smoke while the main attack follows its predetermined path. We’ll know soon enough.

  19. Grouser says:

    I am appalled that you are being abused for writing about Independence in a civil and respectful way. However, since these people hide behind an alias or indeed several aliases it says a lot about their lack of confidence in their own arguments. They are old fashioned bullies who would die of fright if they had to argue their corner face to face with you.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I had one today who felt it was important to tell me that in his estimation I have a very small penis.

      Then he also called the FM a whore and had some very homophobic language for some other people in the SNP. But of course he’s “standing up for women’s rights.”

      • grizebard says:

        My own belief is that every contributor to any public forum should be required to fully identify themselves, if necessary in private only, so that every posting they make links to a known individual. And for those who prefer to retain public anonymity, it should be strictly on condition that any egregious or persistent abuse of the privilege would lead to its unilateral revocation without recourse.

        It’s the current typical absolute anonymity of websites that gives craven cowards the ability to excrete vast quantities of poisonous drivel without expectation of any comeback, and gives people like yourself much unnecessary work having to cleanse their sites of it.

        • So grizebard what’s your surname ?

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Absolutely, when the Internet changed from being a communication medium to money maker and propaganda weapon, each was played off against or with the other.
          The anonymity is artificial (broadly), it is relatively easy for instance for the National to reject the multiple “Juan direction” from the same IP address if they chose to do so, but traffic = $, and “Juan” signing in under 10 user names to pad out “Likes” or reinforce his original post = 10 times the traffic.

  20. Isobel Macrae-Wilson says:

    Hey Paul, sickened by the comments of the keyboard numpties, like many others, but is it not the case, every organisation/ workplace/ blog/ church group/ pub, club, and steamie has it’s share of knuckle draggers, but hate-filled posts must verge on or over the grounds of hate crime, it might help if other bloggers didn’t encourage the vitriol, or kid on they are party to “secrets” or inside information, stirring the zoomers to a level of frothing incoherent, rambling. I visualise them, sitting in their underpants, swigging strong lager in the darkness of their own self importance. Warriers of hee haw. I don’t mind if you don’t put this up, it is kind of a personal shout out to you. & the dug

  21. More power to your keyboard Paul. Huge support out here, as you’ll find once you can get back to filling the halls again. Mind it’s Ginger we all come to see…

  22. Marion Scott says:

    As a regular reader I can only say how sorry I am that you are subjected to vile abuse. Please know that most of your readers are very grateful for your work and for saying so clearly what Indy supporters feel but may not be so good at articulating as you are. We are at a crucial stage in our struggle, so please keep writing your blog. It certainly helps me to try to persuade waverers towards YES and I’m sure many others feel the same. Thank you for all the work you have done to get us to this stage.

  23. Alex Clark says:

    Don’t be disheartened by those attacking you and giving you personal abuse. I know it must be very very hard to stomach but it’s as clear as day that you are getting this personal abuse because your blog is now seen as a threat to the state.

    I can understand the views and opinions of many that are frustrated with what they see as a lack of action by the SNP towards moving Independence forward. I disagree with them for a number of reasons that I won’t spell out here as I have done it many times in the past.

    The worst thing though about those on our own side seeking to replace the leadership of the SNP and making all kinds of accusations is that our opponents to Independence are doing exactly the same thing.

    We have people who support Independence joining with the opponents of Independence to tell us that SNP BAD and that Nicola Sturgeon must go. That’s sad.

    Tells me through that all the posts you get yesterday on your article from posters who have never before made themselves known says a lot. It says they are scared of the words you wrote and they want you to stop. The abuse you are receiving is just another tentacle of the same thing.

    It is meant to depress you and make you give up writing, which I hope you will never do until we are Independent. I’ve read your blog since you started it in 2013, I didn’t comment often as was normally busy elsewhere.

    The one thing I can state with certainty is that the Wee Ginger Dug is writing today exactly as he done since the very first article. You strive to paint a positive picture of what an Independent Scotland can be. You seek to encourage doubters and those unsure about Independence to become Yes voters by showing them things to feel good about.

    You have never wavered nor changed how you write which includes plenty of humour too, you also know who our opponents are and get stuck right into them when they slip up and they do that often.

    Well done in keeping it going, well done in not being bullied into stopping. You have the respect of a great many Independence supporters and I am certain of that.

    Thanks Paul.

    • JoMax says:

      I second everything you say, Alex, and would say to Paul and the WGD, we’re all right here and won’t be going away any time soon, so please keep going for as long as you can. I’m running out of sites to visit these days where I can feel comfortable! There are a lot of sad people out there who thrive on misery and are unable to articulate their feelings without resorting to vitriol and hate. Actually, it also says something about the sad state of the country they live in – the UK – which in turn says an awful lot about the leadership of said country, past and present, and about its social and political history which has left a lot of people sick in mind and body and full of bitterness.

      You have a lot of support, Paul, and there may be many more out there we don’t know about because they read but never post.

      Thank you for all your hard work. It’s much appreciated.

    • john mclaughlin says:

      Bang on the money Alex, excellent reply.

    • Petra says:

      Great post Alex.

  24. yesindyref2 says:

    WGD
    I just noticed an article on a certain website. Please don’t respond or react. No need.He’s already lost with such an article.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Yeah I heard about it. I haven’t looked. I won’t be reading it and I certainly won’t be responding.

      • Republicofscotland says:

        Wouldn’t it be better to confront the points mentioned, get it out in the open so to speak, I’m sure commentors on both sites want some answers, just a thought.

        • Alex Clark says:

          State of you.

          • WT says:

            There is nothing to reply to anyway. Its just more of the shock jock stuff. Don’t bother with it. We have a country to liberate and he isn’t helping. The positivity on your blog is much more powerful than some of the bizarre stuff we read elsewhere. Please keep up the good work.

            • Bob says:

              We do not all need to agree as we talk. There is room for all opinions. There is no prize for best supporting act except pride in taking part. There is no need to be divisive within the Independence movement.

        • grizebard says:

          And fill the space here with drivel being promoted elsewhere? I don’t think so.

          There isn’t any obligation whatever to pick up on others’ talking points. Life is just too short.

          I’m happy to adhere to the view expressed by Alex upthread, it’s a pretty pass when a supposed supporters are so full of themselves that they are effectively in league with the BritNats, attacking those who are unambiguously and positively in the front line for indy. (Never mind swans, what about ducks walking and quacking and such…?)

        • yesindyref2 says:

          55% or 56% YES at the moment ROS.

          Do you think it’s better to include the undecided or NOes with such as:

          “This is what the Tories mean by strengthening the union. They mean imposing policies on Scotland that Scotland doesn’t want. They mean overruling Scotland’s own democratically elected bodies. They mean lecturing us about the meaning of democracy while they themselves traduce it. They mean telling us that we have to respect the result of the 2014 referendum while they trash all the promises that they made to win it.”

          or doing some navel-gazing on yet another pro-indy blog?

          • grizebard says:

            “… advisedly pro-indy blog.”

            There, fixed it. Though I’m beginning to wonder if even that’s sufficiently accurate.

            (And to think we even had a “missionary” on here yesterday with the gall to call for “unity”.)

        • Petra says:

          Eh! Haven’t you noticed RoS that you can’t have a normal discussion or debate with certain people. He’s already telling someone, third post in, that disagrees with him to ”feel free to piss off any time you like.” That of course deters others from contradicting him. He doesn’t want answers to anything, imo. He’s right. End of. Let him (or the ”us”, whoever they are, that are ”mildly annoyed”) get on with it.

        • RoS, no matter how much bloody chuck you throw over the side of your fishing smack, nobody’s biting. See my comment below on the view of the world from Campbell’s Kingom.
          He’s lost it completely.

  25. Ken2 says:

    Don’t bother a total incoherent mishmash. Not worth looking at on some other sites. Totally incoherent. Tanking. It is difficult to make heads of tails out of it. Tales right enough. Made up mishmash, rhetoric and hearsay. Not even allowed in Court as evidence. Pathetic.

    80 unelected Tories are not going to do anything to Scotland and get away with it. The dope on the rope is tanking into oblivion. Just as expected. Just vote them out,

  26. Hamish100 says:

    Let’s look forward.

    I wonder for your broadcast if the chap from Canada would be an interesting candidate?

    How about interviewing a representative from some of the newer independent nations in the world as to how they can help one of the older nations in the world?
    Cheers

    • grizebard says:

      I have long thought that a great video for indy would be a selection of individuals from small and/or recently-independent European states each articulating their attitudes to their native land. None of them in the least willing to re-/integrate with bigger neghbours. I think that kind of grounded witness would be far more influential to many waverers wondering if we {sigh} could possibly manage than would any number of economists or even (dare I say it!) assurances from partisans such as us, however well-informed.

  27. chocolass says:

    Great article,Paul-thought provoking as always.
    Been following you for a long time and have at last signed up for your posts!
    I’ll never forget your blog on the 19th September 2014 and perhaps if people re-read it they might think about the road ahead instead of picking fights with each other!
    Lots of love Paul and don’t let it get you down

  28. i dont seem to be part of any side, i disagree with almost everyone 🙂 however, as far as i can see, i am the only person to put forward a realistic plan b to which i havent heard a serious argument against.

    a vote is a vote is a vote, i do not see why the international, EU british or scottish opinion, cares whether we win our independence with 50%+ of the vote in a referendum or an election. Whats the difference? a democratic mandate won at the ballot box is the same no matter what form of voting system is used.

    also, we dont need a s30 for an election.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’ve been talking about the possibility of a plebiscite election for years. However it’s only going to succeed if we are seen to exhaust the S30 route first. That will give it legitimacy in the eyes of both the majority of Scottish and international opinion.

      • couldnt you do both? eg, “independence at all costs and by any means” a 50%+ result would give us a democratic mandate, no question, when asked we simply say that we had a mandate in 2016 for indyref2 and that was our preferred route but boris said no!! if boris is now saying we need a referendum then he can simply grant a s30. ?? going all out for indy in the election doesnt necessarily rule out indyref2, having indyref2 a few months after the election would simply confirm the democratic mandate for indy. I wouldnt be against this.

        but if bojo continues to say no to a s30, we would at least have a democratic mandate for independence from the voters. that is not a prize to be sniffed at Paul

        • weegingerdug says:

          It’s the media in this country that concerns me. This is what I mean when I say that if Scotland had a media that was as representative as Catalonia’s we’d be independent already. We really struggle to get our messaging across in Scotland.

          We need to get the message to those “low information voters” out there – people who are disengaged from politics. They’re not going to accept that we had a mandate that’s already been refused especially when all they will hear from the TV and the papers is that the SNP lost in 2017. And truth be told the SNP squandered the opportunity given to them by the 2016 result. But we are where we are.

          • the media is…………always a problem. yes. but a democratic vote is a democratic vote and isnt easily wished away by bojo, however, no matter what happens after such a vote, having a 50%+ actual vote from the people of scotland for independence , in our back pocket, is very very desirable. if we have the opportunity to bring such a state of affairs into reality, we should seize it. dont you think?

            • weegingerdug says:

              Yes we should, but we have to prepare the ground for it very carefully first. There will be people who resent not being able to cast a vote on education, health, housing, or the other bread and butter issues which usually dominate in an election.

              Actually a plebiscite election has always been my favoured route to indy. Because it means we’ll be up against British nationalist parties who will have been seen to have refused the people of Scotland the right to determine their own future. It’s very hard for them to tell Scotland it’s a moved loved partner in a family of nations under those circumstances.

              • i also think that a 50%+ vote on a manifesto about independence would have an effect on the no voters, not all are OO knuckle dragging MAGA lovers, I think many of the soft nos would look at the result and say, “the people of scotland have spoken” who am I to argue against?

                we have the chance to turn opinion polls into a universally democratically recognised actual vote in favour of an independent scotland.

                we have never had that before and it would be a complete game changer, for yessers, nos, westminster, the ruk population, the eu and the international community.

                we have the opportunity to make this happen.

                at least i have put forward a Plan B 🙂

          • Bob says:

            Quite agree the media in Scotland is a problem and always will be while it is swamped by that from our dominant neighbouring country.

            As regards…

            “We need to get the message to those “low information voters” out there – people who are disengaged from politics.”

            That will easier happen when there is a referendum date set and all those like yourself get out there and campaign.

            With Bella Caledonia the highest profile news outlet next to The Independent I am disappointed they do not give more space to the tireless work done by the known online broadcasts and Blogs.

            As long as this remains so, the message will continue to be fragmented. Although not a problem now but when we push for the vote a common voice will be needed that is recognised and can be leaflet dropped to those who have not thus far been involved in the discussion allowing local groups to act on.

            But this will not happen without a campaign and the sticky question right now is when that is called. I would not underestimate the mood in Scotland to have this question settled before the May elections either as a referendum or manifesto commitment and would suggest the contentious debate on an s30 comes from events outwith our control fast overtaking all options we have.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, up to a point. Elections are normally about a whole range of issues, which can distract and dilute any attempt to make it a referendum-by-stealth. It requires a fine – and brave – judgement to take that giant step, since you have to feel – there being no amount of focus-grouping that can give a guarantee – that you can carry a majority of the country with you in your stand. Especially within the complex electoral system that we have inherited.

      I have always believed that a future plebiscite would gain rather than lose support, for the exact same reason as happened last time and as currently demonstrated by the Covid briefings: exposure. The independence side gains the essential access to the public that it is otherwise routinely denied, and at a time when people are more open to “the case for” than usual.

      Even so, it would be a high-risk venture for the coming election, albeit at the crossroads that Paul identifies. The fundamental question remains for next May: will the people of Scotland be ready to take the fateful decision then?

      • high risk venture grizebard!!

        all options are high risk now.

        but i believe the indy plebiscite is an option, a plan b we should consider. bear in mind, i would wait until the election campaign is launched and the unionists are committed and publish their manifestos, ie, no indyref2 no independence. then we launch ours

        “independence at all costs and by any means”

        dont give them the option or the time to back out.

        also, i think the polls may be weighted on the heavy side, waiting until the last moment to announce plan b will enable us to assess the polls, if we have continually 55% snp, then -3% for incorrect weighting and -2% for potential vote slippage, would still give a very strong indication that a 50%+ vote was highly probable

        if however the polls slip back then plan A would be the wisest option.

        • grizebard says:

          For reasons already given, I don’t believe there will be slippage, providing only that the timing is right. (Quite the reverse, though perhaps not on the scale we saw last time.)

          But you do illustrate one important point: it pays right now to wait patiently, stay alert, keep your opponents guessing, and keep your powder dry. Which is exactly what the SG is doing, funnily enough.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I’ve been looking at comments btl in a certain other place, it’s an occasional guilty pleasure, but this is one of the funnest and best I’ve seen anywhere:

      “At it’s most basic level, for Scotland to become independent, it needs the English to grant a S30 order and for Scotland to become independent, it needs the English to refuse a S30 order.”

      🙂

    • Alex Clark says:

      SC there is no need for a Plan B. Plan A already takes account of any and all possible shenanigans.

      If it doesn’t then it’s not really a plan is it?

  29. Petra says:

    ‘SNP warn of ‘independence’ on the cheap’ after leasing Faslane to UK report.’

    ..”The independently-produced paper by defence analyst Stuart Crawford and economist Richard Marsh suggests that an independent Scotland could charge £200 million per year to retain Trident and that four submarines which carry the missiles would have to stay in Scottish waters for “perhaps up to” 20 years. The report also recommended leasing the Lossiemouth airbase to the RAF and Nato.”..

    …”He (Crawford) went on: “I sympathise with that view but it isn’t practical as Trident has nowhere else to go. People say the French or Americans would take it but Faslane has a deep anchorage and nowhere else in the UK could replicate it.”

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18760640.snp-warn-scotland-not-gain-independence-cheap-defence-report/

    …………………………………..

    I can’t wait to see him getting kicked out of Holyrood the first chance we get.

    ‘WATCH: Oliver Mundell kicked out of Chamber for calling Nicola Sturgeon a liar.’

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18759775.watch-oliver-mundell-kicked-chamber-calling-nicola-sturgeon-liar/

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, I read that Petra. Well, there’s RN and MOD facilities all over Scotland, bombing ranges at Cape Wrath and off Tain, missile ranges off the Western Isles.

      I’m surprised Crawford and Marsh don’t recommend leasing the whole of Scotland to the rUK, just in case they need to test some more bombs or missiles.

      No thanks. Faslane / Coulport max 10 years, Lossie shared for a while, and that’s the lot. What are that pair thinking of.

      • Liz g says:

        Not even sure ( although I do know there’s reasonable arguments for it ) that we should be considering renting Faslane and Coleport to the British.
        If we are going to tell Holyrood Scotland won’t have nuclear weapons and put it in our Constitution
        Then we would be allowing Westminster to do something on Scottish soil that we have forbidden Holyrood Constitutionally from doing.
        That’s no way to have a Constitutional government.

        Also we are then to trust that they will be careful with the weapons in our backyard and that they will leave in the agreed time frame ( there’s that breaking international treaty thing to be mindful of now too ) .
        And most importantly it doesn’t remove the target from our back.

        As to any bases in Scotland….seriously…..they never leave and we would be at risk of a role as a launch site for their foreign warmongering.
        Not to mention that a base becomes the catch all “British Intrests Abroad ” that they always meddle in other countries to protect.

        So no no and no again from me….British bases in Scotland is how all this Union malarkey got started and was enforced in the first place.
        No one ever thinks the Republic of Ireland has to host the British military why the hell should we

        • grizebard says:

          Please be real, Liz. Coulport and Faslane will be part of the deal, because it’s crucial leverage and we’ll need it. Otherwise, there isn’t a surer way of pushing a UKGov of any political persuasion into adamant refusal to accede to indy no matter what. But we can insist upon a rental scheme which increases exponentially each year. Just like a virus. {grin}

          On the brighter side, there remains the outside possibility that the onset of independence would cause such a political crisis in England that nukes would come under serious question there anyway on the eminently reasonable grounds of affordability (a veritable cuckoo in the military nest), and maybe even an abandonment to spitefully deny us any possible income! So “watch this space” on this one. But in any event we will have to be prepared to be realists, like it or not.

          As to matters constitutional, it’s always tempting for the well-meaning to confuse the constitutional with the political. It isn’t the job of a constitution to fetter the proper political choices of future governments, since you cannot possibly predict future needs. Its proper role is to protect people’s rights and ensure that they have the unfettered freedom to choose political solutions as future circumstances demand. There’s a crucial difference there that some folk in their zeal seem to miss.

          • Liz g says:

            I did say I know that there’s reasonable arguments to consider doing it grizbard did I no ?
            But nevertheless my position remains as I said above and it’s a really real one honest….

            That base is too close to the population for the coupling and uncoupling of the warhead that takes place at Coleport it always has been.
            Thatcher may have got her dispensation for it back in the day but we shouldn’t have to put up with it one second longer than we have to.
            And while the subs can’t move practically overnight Coleports activities can cease immediately as can the road transport of them through our country.
            Not to mention we need that base for ourselves.
            I don’t see why we should have to build new infrastructures we already paid for that one.

            • grizebard says:

              I don’t discount the genuineness of your feeling and indeed share your very legitimate concern over the proximity of the damnable things, so indeed the sooner gone the better. (Though there remain a worryingly high proportion of Scots who rather still like them. {ugh} Besides those who regularly vote for Jackie Bailey, probably mostly those who don’t live anywhere near.)

              But this is the kind of hard choice we will have to confront as a new nation. Like dealing with the current virus, some things don’t come easy.

              But we’ll manage, no worries!

          • yesindyref2 says:

            I’d vote against a Constitution that had any political policy in it, like being nuclear-free. Constitutions are for citizens as far as I’m concerned, not political parties or the politically motivated. It’s about us getting “the form of Government we choose” – and justice for all regardless of means.

            Liz g – Salmond effectively would have given a 10 year transition for Faslane / Coulport, it could probably be less as I think moving the SSNs to Faslane could clear Devonport for the neccessary redevelopment, but that’s totally my analysis, never seen anyone else moot it. Lossie would be ours outright from the beginning, but we could share it with the RAF – NATO has the aim of defence sharing to cut costs and increase capability, it’s a sensible way to do things anyway. In time we could get our own full squadron of fast jets and pilots – possible Gripens half the cost to buy and maintain of Typhoons which are on their slow way out anyway.

            Defence can move above “petty” politics, for instance the UK and France are still co-operating on defence while BoJo is giving it garlic and V signs to Macron.

            • Liz g says:

              Nuclear weapons are the very things that should be in a Constitution exactly because as you say they should be above political decisions.
              And don’t forget we are not talking of our own here we’re talking of the British state and the US government systems.
              Try making the same arguments for the Irish republic and see how it sounds?

              • grizebard says:

                Some people keep getting this wrong, alas, because they let their own political preferences – whether righteous or not – blind them to the actual purpose of a constitution: GrundgesetzFundamenal Law, the basic rules of the game. Its purpose is not to enforce anyone’s current political preferences (or prejudices) on future generations, who might have need of something entirely different from what was initially envisaged. It needs to be light and accessible, readily understandable by every citizen.

                Take as just one example, the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. A political intrusion that has enabled arbitrary mayhem to be perpetrated upon an absolutely tragic number of innocent lives. Or the late-unlamented 20th (?), introduced with the very best of (NB) political intentions, whose only lasting effect was to spawn a whole new world of organised crime.

                It’s crucially important to distinguish principles from practice. The constitional domain is for the former, the political one for the latter.

                • grizebard says:

                  Interestingly, one observes the exact same kind of confusion of purpose creeping into religions too: “you can only be a true believer if you adhere to all our high principles but also bare the left leg and stand on the right one at 2pm every Thursday”.

                  Lovely chat, but rather tangential alas to the current theme, so I’ll leave it at that for now. We’ll (hopefully) return to it ere lang, though!

              • yesindyref2 says:

                Liz g
                I didn’t say they should be above political decisions, completely the opposite.

                I said Constitutions should be above political decisions, and whether or not to have nuclear missiles, bombs, automated lasers, sunray intentifier beams, sonic disruption devices, robotic cyber-squirrels with deadly eyes and teeth, or whatever comes next, are political decisions. Therefore they should NOT be in a citizens Constitution.

                I would personally like a short Constitution that primary school children could recite from heart. It could be supported by Annexes perhaps.

            • then again we could agree to trident staying in faslane, sign our treaty of independence, the 6 month later threaten to stick the subs on ebay and stretch a chain across the clyde to stop the subs getting back in??

              yes, we would be breaking an international treaty but… meh 🙂

              • yesindyref2 says:

                Mmm, you mean like the original Clause 45 which is now Clause 47 as it enters the Lords, previously a bastion of defence of the Rule of Law but now somewhat – not:

                “47 Further provision related to any agreements made with the rUK whatever it calls itself:

                (1) The following have effect notwithstanding any relevant international or domestic law with which they may be incompatible or inconsistent—

                (a) Bog off with your Trident and stick it up [redacted]”

                Surely not?

          • Golfnut says:

            Liz G has this right. Your either Nuclear free or your a target. Constitutionally it would be unacceptable to house these weapons at Faslane/ Coulport, not forgetting they are an environmental disaster waiting to happen, that’s assuming it hasn’t already.
            As far as negotiations are concerned, Trident would be England’s weakest card in a very weak hand.

    • Golfnut says:

      Crawford’s ‘ Blue Bonnets ‘ defence analysis for 2014 indyref could have been written by the MOd it favoured Westminster so obviously, this is more of the same.
      Advocating control of our airspace and waters by another country, well theirs a name for that.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        That paper confidently expected 50 sub-Mach 1 Hawks, used a lot for training, to be able to defend against supersonic attack, but actually of more importance normally, to be able to intercept aircraft that aren’t squawking for some reason and are therefore potential terrorists / hijacks and need to be rapidly intercepted, identified, and “guided” to somewhere safe. A job Air Forces do in peacetime. The Russian Bears don’t squawk and become a hazard to general and commercial aviation, a reason they actually have to be intercepted to be made visible to the FIR controllers.

        Interestingly the UK has 3 FIRs – Flight Information Regions. Ireland doesn’t have one itself, it’s Shandwick controlled by the UK CAA. I think the RAF does supersonic intercepts for them. Scotland does, the Scottish FIR going down as far as The Wash I think. and I think controlled from Prestwick off the top of my head. I’d say we would want to take control of that, meaning I think we would need to be able to police it effectively.

        Ho hum.

        • Golfnut says:

          There were more thorough examinations and recommendations, the best I think was an analysis by Col Potter or Peacock and a Defence lecturer. I have it saved somewhere, I think I shared it with you 2014.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            You do see some stuff, one in the National said it would be summer 2021, someone elsewhere said it should exist now, here’s what WAS said by Sturgeon:

            “That is why, before the end of this Parliament, we will publish a draft Bill, setting out the proposed terms and timing of an independence referendum, as well as the proposed question that people will be asked in that referendum.”

            https://www.gov.scot/publications/first-minister-programme-government-1/

            “before the end of this Parliament”

            i.e. March 2021, if the election goes ahead as planned. To be published then doesn’t mean it exists now, unfortunately perhaps for the S30 case, but they should be able to use that statement of intent – perhaps confirmed in a ScotGov statement.

            Sorry, that was OT.

  30. Ken2 says:

    He will be leaving parliament permanently 2021. If the suit fits wear it. He should get a suit that fits. ‘Suits you sir’. Small minded.

    More Tory lies about Brexit. The Tories are to allow EU boats to fish British waters for three years. Transition period. Until they are voted out. Leaving others to sort out their mess? Par for the coarse. The usual. Someone else sorting out their mess. They had to get rid of Thatcher for closer ties with Europe.

    Lying again. Conning voters who fall for it. The dope on the rope. Liars always get found out. Chapman.

  31. weegingerdug says:

    So I see that there are people on Twitter claiming that the final point I make in this article – that if pro indy parties fail to do well in the next Scottish elections the Tories will be emboldened to undermine devolution even further – is the opposite of the truth. They’re actually saying that it’s if the pro indy parties do well then the Tories will be emboldened to undermine devolution.

    This is the level of political analysis we have to deal with amongst sections of the independence movement.

    Jesus wept.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yep there’s no point in voting because we won’t win by enough so everybody is as well just lying down and letting them win, who thinks up this stuff and expects folk to swallow it

      • grizebard says:

        Those whose job – whether paid or voluntary – is to sow disillusionment. Because that’s all they have left. The devo cupboard is bare apart from a few stale old broken promises.

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, The Cringe is strong among the weak.

    • Alex Clark says:

      I doubt very much that the majority of them are part of the Independence movement.

      They are the opposite and wish to do it damage. A lot of loudmouths but with no substance, the majority shouting the loudest are Unionists that oppose Independence. Shame that so many who are genuine supporters of Independence fail to see that. They are being led by the nose.

  32. Jim O'Rourke says:

    Paul, I’m dismayed that you’re being subjected to the kind of abuse you mention. It’s sickening, and those doing it are a total disgrace. Even if they disagree with you on a specific issue or point in a post, they very least you should be able to expect is that they address the matter itself rather than launch personal attacks on you.
    Alternatively, could it be that these attacks are made because they actually have nothing coherent to say in response to the points you make so they’re trying to grind you down and intimidate you instead?
    In which case, you’re getting to them and they can’t handle it.

    As I see it, your blog posts are so insightful and well constructed that it is next to impossible to present a credible or even coherent counter to the points you make, so they take the low road instead.

    I’m not saying that all or even most of those posting the hate stuff against you are paid or brigade folk, nor am I saying they’re all just morons.

    I just think you perform a unique function in the independence movement. That makes you a target.

    I like to think there’s more of us supporting you and what you bring to the movement, than there will ever be there to attack you, for any reason, sane or otherwise. I’m certain I’m right in thinking that.

    • The thing is
      Sticks and stones will break my bones but names can never hurt me

      Remember this
      Those Scottish independence supporters criticising Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are still wanted for Scottish independence votes
      They are on our side for that important event in our lives the Scottish independence referendum

      Now I’m sure some are not really Scottish independence supporters at all
      But some are
      There’s no way of telling which is which for sure

      So ….disagree with them , correct them for sure, but let’s not go on the attack
      there’s no need
      If you don’t want to correct them , ignore them
      We don’t want to put people out of the conversation altogether

      This has been a long journey
      We have all been disheartened at some point , perhaps stopped taking part for a while but we bounced back
      That’s okay
      But we don’t want to isolate people completely
      Always leave an escape route and a way back

      • Hamish100 says:

        I think some are already isolated in a fantasy of bile and they don’t want a way back. As the train leaves the station they will rant and rave on the platform that there is a conspiracy against them. We should just move on. We have a destination to reach.

  33. Rab Dalziel says:

    Paul I have been an avid reader of your site since 2014 not only because you articulate my thoughts better than I could but also because of the quality of the BTL contributions.You are quiet right to strengthen moderation I have turned off WOS I just can’t understand what his motive is when it looks like we are seeing a surge in the polls and the only vehicle that will bring our freedom is the SNP.
    I will send some well deserved cash for your site development fund when my pension hits the bank
    Keep up the good work

  34. Dr Jim says:

    There are jobs that aren’t *viable* there are immigrants that aren’t viable so Priti Patel wants to send them to *camps* in Ascension Island to await *processing* I await pensioners, the sick the disabled and the unemployed soon being told we’re not *viable* either

    How much is spent on the *viable* House of Lords, how much is spent on a billionaire family and their castles and their importance as a tourist attraction with no tourists because of Covid because right now that family are about as valuable and *viable* as a stick of rock, at least you eat rock

    When you see what Tories consider *viable* you wonder why others don’t see themselves as the next possible choice on the *Not viable* scale

  35. grizebard says:

    Let’s be clear. There seems to be an attempt to bruit abroad that folk on here have swallowed some kind of SNP pill. This could not be further from the truth. I would venture to assert that the vast majority of regular contributors on here – and likewise regular readers – are taking the SNP with some degree of sufferance great or small, and waiting keenly to see what offer the party are going to make for the coming election, and (assuming the hoped-for significant win) what they do with their renewed mandate thereafter. And will reach their own judgement accordingly.

    (Anything effective between now and then always welcome.)

    The SNP of late haven’t always behaved corporately as well as they could-and-should have, to our dismay. My own personal disappointment was the manner in which the NEC treated the well-respected Joanna Cherry MP recently, which frankly was a disgrace, and though I’m not a party member, I hope that something effective is being done to ensure that such painfully counterproductive misbehaviour never ever happens again. Nevertheless, the plain fact remains that the SNP, whatever its human failings may be, is the only realistic torch-bearer going into the coming crucial elections, and it is only the judgement delivered on it by the voters that the opponents of independence truly fear. (And increasingly, it seems, their useful idiots as well.)

    As for the jibe that we’re the “Nicola Fan Club”, all I can say to that is that we are in no way different from the vast majority of ordinary people, who see an effective demonstration of leadership under an immense amount of pressure from a worldwide health crisis, a toxic opposition at home bitterly opposed to her mandate to the point of wishing things worse for us all, and an unrepresentative distant regime forcing its unwanted evil attentions upon us. So we’re representative of our fellow citizens (and of a growing number at that), and we have every right to be proud of being so.

  36. grimjimm says:

    With you Paul. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

  37. I am a fan of Nicola Sturgeon
    She is excellent
    Even excellent people make mistakes
    But they are nevertheless…excellent

    • Dr Jim says:

      Robert Peston is a Nicola Sturgeon fan, seriously though people who oppose the FM use the term fanboys or fan club to denigrate those who show support for the FM in order to diminish her status and those who support her, resulting, they hope in making a stronger case for their own argument which of course it doesn’t, it only succeeds in showing up the weakness of their own character and argument to attempt to denigrate or shout over those you oppose like Trump was trying to do with Biden, hopefully the more discerning voter sees this for what it is

      Taking sarcasm to those bullying extremes exposes the nature of the user

      • Petra says:

        I watched her being interviewed by Peston last night and she’s a REAL credit to us all. She manages to cram in so many facts in such a short time. All coherent and concise. More than anything she gives the Westminster clowns, especially BoJo, a real showing up. It’s no wonder so many people, Unionists, want to get rid of her.

  38. Andrew Gallacher says:

    What is happening right now with the in fighting and wildly different opinions within the Yes movement on how to proceed is utterly depressing. Doubly so when you consider the positive numbers in recent opinion polls. I commented here a few days ago that I would like there to be a plebiscite election right now, and I’ll admit that was almost certainly born of frustration. An election during this pandemic isn’t a realistic proposition, but I’m having real doubts about waiting until after the May election to request a Section 30 Order. I totally understand the argument being made, but I’m losing faith in the SNP to actually take any action in the highly likely event that the Section 30 is refused. What do we do if the SNP fails to act? Wait another five years? Wouldn’t it be more sensible for the Scottish government to request the Section 30 in February/March and make it clear that if it is refused the May election will be a de facto referendum?

    • Alex Clark says:

      Andrew, I believe there really is a plan and it’s underway right now. That involved getting the Referendum (Scotland) Act onto the statute books and the second part of that is the part that Westminster say the Scottish Government does not have the power to do without a Section 30 order.

      In order to have a “legal” referendum, we need to put the legislation in place, something that the whole world will accept as being legitimate. So It was announced just a couple of weeks ago the Scottish Government will bring forward a draft bill before the end of this parliament that sets out the timing, the terms and the question for a second referendum. That is the final piece of legislation required. Will Westminster challenge it?

      According to Westminster, the Scottish Parliament cannot do that as it is outwith their competence under the Scotland Act 1998, they claim that Holyrood needs a Section 30 order so as they can pass that legislation because the Union is reserved to Westminster.

      So can’t you see where this is going?

      It’s heading for a collision course between Holyrood and Westminster. Call it Plan A because that’s exactly what it is. We will win this battle in the end, might be a few ups and downs before then but we stick at it.

      • Andrew Gallacher says:

        That’s fine Alex, but time is running out. I don’t think there is enough time left before the election for there to be a resolution of the ensuing dispute over Plan A. A legal challenge by Westminster over Holyrood’s competence to pass the Referendum Act won’t be resolved before May so the option of a plebiscite election will be lost. That option should be employed as Plan B and run alongside Plan A. Maybe the intention is to implement Plan B at the point Westminster challenges the legislation but I think that would be reactivate rather than proactive. Surely the double threat of both plans would be a stronger tactic.

    • Ken2 says:

      Stop being so depressing. Kettle Black. Then making complaint it is depressing? It is not depressing to see the Tories out. Then the shambles and mess being sorted out. Vote them out. Simple. Then on to Independence. A proper arrangement and agreement. One step and campaign at a time. For success.

      ‘What they are going do etc’. They won’t be able to do anything if they are voted out. They will not be there. ‘80 unelected Tories are going to ruin Scotland (5.3million pop)?’ A complete and utter nonsense. Not likely. Not only improbable but statistically impossible. They will not be there to do anything.

      Other good better? people will take over. Take heart. Or they will be gone. The power is in the voter’s hand. Use it. Do not let them abuse it.

      The Tories are going to ruin and damage themselves. The usual absolute mess and shambles. They don’t know what to do next to cause more trouble. Lying all the time. Making false promises. Cheating, lying criminals. Breaking the Law with impunity. Until they are faced with the Ballot Box and get their jotters.

      They will get their comeuppance. Complete and utter incompetents. Tanking like no other. Lost any lead or support. People are sick of them. Criticised from every quarter. Internationally and otherwise. Not up to the job. They are making people sick. The emperor has no clothes.

      @BorisJohnston twitter. A revelation. A measure of what folk think of them. Realms.

  39. Hamish100 says:

    Dealing with the pandemic is more important.
    Then brexit

    This will ensure a positive response from the public.

    • Dr Jim says:

      You’re of course right Hamish that’s the ultimate way of doing politics, letting the people you serve see and hear you do it and the trust and confidence of the people comes back to you in votes when you ask for them

      I’m 100% sure the referendum and all that that entails will be well organised and the only people who know ( and they’ll be few) what’s going to happen and when will keep their mouths clammed tightly shut to avoid leaks so the media don’t get allowed to change and control the narrative in the way they want so they can refer to Westminster for their orders, and right now I think you could pull the FMs fingernails out and she still won’t talk until she’s ready

  40. Tom says:

    If the comments are so distressing, and I’ve no doubt many are, don’t allow them. Just remove the comment option altogether. Robin McAlpine did it yonks ago, and I’m sure doesn’t regret it.

    You can’t believe that, just because you ask, the nastiness will disappear and folk will start behaving themselves.

    So, the solution is in your own hands. Remove the comments option, or risk your own mental well-being by having to deal with, and moderate, all that crap.

    Remember, there are eight more months of this before election day (assuming, that is, the election isn’t postponed, as I reckon it will be).

    You’d need the constitution of a Stuart Campbell to survive all this for that long, but there’s only one of him.

  41. malkymcblain says:

    Off topic but relevant to illustrate how the UK will proceed in dealing with the law, compassion and human decency as well as international treaties once the final Brexit deal or no deal is done. This indicates further that it will be a no deal.

    Some contributors may recall a comment I made here just a few weeks ago about former Australian PM Tony Abbott and the real reason the UK govt have engaged him as an advisor. Apologies but…I told you so. He is advising on offshore detention of asylum seekers. I guessed at the time that the Tories would use a remote and wind swept Scottish island for the purpose of detaining refugees as a warning to others not to attempt the Channel crossing. However on further reading any detention centre would need to be established outside the UK migration zone. Ascension Island in the middle of the Atlantic is a UK possession but is not in the UK migration zone so I wasn’t completely right about a Scottish island being used but it does confirm the real reason Abbott has been engaged… follow the link.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18759934.detention-centres-asylum-seekers-may-built-scots-isles/

  42. Ken2 says:

    The Tories an absolute shower of psycho bastards. Their own description. Totally rotten to the core. Absolute criminals. Breaking the Law with impunity. Without an ounce of decency. Vote them out.

    They will be gone with their loot before long. The only reason they are in politics is to embezzle and steal public monies. A complete bunch of fraudsters.

    Illegal unscrutinised contracts. Wasting £Billions. Civil servants breaking the Law and telling Tory lies. Absolutely disgusting, killing people. Pandemic? They have caused it and made it worse. Broken every rule that is made. Broken every Law that they make.

    @BorisJohnston. Google it for some revelations. No one can stand the sight of the cretins. Into oblivion they go once again. Every other word they utter is a lie. Is there not end to their criminality? Never trust a Tory. Especially in Scotland.

    Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence.

  43. Ken2 says:

    As usual Tory plans totally illegal which will be challenged in the Courts. The Tories illegal asylum plans. Once again they will be have to back down. Once again wasting £Billions of unscrutinised public monies.

    The Tory Gov a complete waste of space. Living in fantasy land. Fantasy island. Absolutely clueless. Abbot and Murdoch. Compete and utter crooks. International criminals. They will keel over. Pandemic.

    Thatcher reincarnated. A migrant family. Treating migrants with contempt. Disgraceful piece of work. Inhumane bully. Breaking the Law at every opportunity. International and otherwise. A complete ignoramus.

  44. Golfnut says:

    Richard Leonard getting lessons on what’s not devolved.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/742124889851717/

    • grizebard says:

      Not concerning at all, since it is a possible way the SG can deliberately accelerate the coming crisis. I’ve been wondering myself if it might happen sometime before May.

      • Golfnut says:

        ‘ not concerning at all ‘

        Closing Parliament down is likely to be a pretty rapid process, here today gone tomorrow, not sure how you believe the FM can accelerate parliamentary procedure, her preferred method to ensure a legal referendum that has the precursor of a 50+% mandate from the Holyrood GE when the Parliament itself has been shut down prior to the election taking place.
        Fortunately there are other routes.

  45. Shagpile says:

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, the answer to Indyref II lies in the UKs unwritten constitution.

    The IM Bill seeks to remove judicial review, why?

    Could that possibly be because when Boris refuses consent to a S30 order after the Holyrood election in 2021, and the SG proposes a referendum later that year his refusal could result in a judicial review of that refusal?

    Support for independence is trending very much in the Yes direction. Ms Sturgeon is also enjoying ratings of competence unionists would die in a ditch for. Two facts lost on political anoraks which would rather bleat betrayal… and both of these bode well for actually winning the referendum we all are impatient for.

    Let’s not forget, as in 2014, the SoS for Scotland plays a part in this process it is his refusal to consent which is noteworthy.

    But to be honest, resignation of the FM pretty soon after refusal and forcing a second Holyrood election in 2021 will indisputably be seen domestically and internationally as a plebiscite election for independence.

  46. Ken2 says:

    The problem with a Constitution is that Parliaments can change them. Best vague and simple or they will not be implemented. A waste of time and effort for all sorts of problems. Easily sidestepped etc. Ways can be found around it. Not casted in stone but transitional. Events change things. A manifesto can be just as effective. If adhered to and not lied about.

    Just get rid of Trident/nuclear etc. Save €Trillions and feed people. Like the rest of the world. Disarmament treaties. A national of 5,3million people does not need to be a base for blowing up the world. Or for any other reason. Even more rotten hulk contaminated dump. Convoys passing through Cities illegally.

    Greenham Common Nuclear dump closed in 1992. After objections 30mins from London. An argument for equality. Get the muck out of insecure places and areas. Courting disaster.

    • Shagpile says:

      Ken2 – “The problem with a Constitution is that Parliaments can change them”.

      No it can’t because they cannot unilaterally alter the terms of the international treaty which underpins that aspect of the UK constitution, further, international treaties take precedence over domestic laws in case law. And to be repetitive here, although domestic laws can vary in any state. A state can have only one constitution, written or not.

      • Ken2 says:

        Yes they can!!! Or governments find it is impossible to uphold the terms, changing political, economic circumstances.

        The Westminster Gov has consistently broken International Law. Has to be held to account though the Courts. They are unilaterally altering the terms of International treaties. Or any Constitutional conditions or references.

        Any corrupt Gov can do it worldwide. Too many examples to mention. It is not a silver bullet. They can be challenged though Courts. Or, eg, change the voting system. Or keeping things secret illegally under the Official Secrets Act. Or using corruption through the Courts. Changing the justice system illegal. Trying to shut that down.

        Or suffer total violent, social uprising of the people repeatedly. Too numerous to mention. People will only take so much of trying to take them for fools. People change the Laws through the voting system. Power to the people the vote. Use it. Even with or without a Constitution.

        The Westminster Gov has continually broken the conditions of the Treaty of Union, Since 1707. International Treaty. With or without a Constitution. It would not have stopped them. People have risen up against it. Voting. Since 1928 Universal Suffrage.

        The UN can change or adapt International Law. Or stall. States not agree or dispute for a length of time. Voting systems. Or ignore any problems. A cabal. In their own interests. Or a selection of interests.

        • Shagpile says:

          Ken2 – “The Westminster Gov has consistently broken International Law. Has to be held to account though the Courts”.

          Basically, you agree.

          Through our own domestic courts, or at Den Haag. However, international politics trump international law, and I believe, what I wrote at 08:08 am above would be recognised internationally as Westminster would have been shown to thwart the provisions in the UKs own constitution.

          The 1707 Treaty of Union can not be changed, yet (some of the articles) in the Acts can be subject to implied repeal, and others can’t. However that is a red herring. The international treaty breaches to the GFA and the EU withdrawal agreement are the cords of the rope to which Boris will hang the union with, enabling recognition of our independence by countries such as Spain.

  47. Petra says:

    Even Lindsay Hoyle is scunnered with the Tories.

    ‘Speaker slams Boris Johnson’s Government over ‘contempt’ for Parliament.’

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18759206.speaker-slams-boris-johnsons-government-contempt-parliament/

    ……………………………………..

    Check this out Malky. They must be fkn joking 🤬.

    ‘Fury at detention centres for asylum seekers being built on Scottish islands.’

    ..”The spokesman was then asked if the government could use “a Scottish Island or somewhere in the channel” instead of a remote British overseas territory. He did not rule out the prospect, instead saying there was “nothing more to add” at this stage of the preparations.”..

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18759934.detention-centres-asylum-seekers-may-built-scots-isles/

  48. Ken2 says:

    Leonard the useless. Horrific. Wiki leaks. Stinks and sinks. Like the Tory/unionists.

  49. Capella says:

    Listening to Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time with three English academics discussing Macbeth, the Shakepeare play. None of them have any knowledge of Scottish history or kingship. They talk nonsense. It’s fine as a discussion of art but hopelessly misleading about Scotland.

  50. andyfromdunning says:

    Sorry to read that you are getting hassled by those who cannot behave when they post onto your blog. WOS has had the same issue for some time. I have never been one for conspiracy theories but you have to wonder if this is the actions of the U.K. state.

    Your writing is always good Paul, I may not always agree with some minor points in your rationale but I respect you and enjoy your work.

    On the issue of this article you are correct. This is a crossroad indeed for the relationship between WM and the devolved administrations and also between WM and indy support.

  51. Welsh Sion says:

    Apologies for being o/t, but I’ll leave the stushie [sic.] with ‘Rev.’ Stu and others for you Scots to discuss. (I had my own reasons for leaving ‘over there’.)

    Anyhow, next time someone pops up to denigrate ‘Scottish baby boxes’, perhaps you’d liketo refer them to what’s happening in my country, now:

    https://nation.cymru/news/first-pilot-of-200-baby-bundles-rolled-out-in-wales-after-scottish-success/

    First pilot of 200 ‘baby bundles’ rolled out in Wales after Scottish success

    1st October 2020

  52. Paul,
    I am fresh from reading WoS latest pearls and scanning his BTL Kool Aider following(190 posts…100 or so contributors)
    He clearly knows what he’s doing.
    He is being his usual self, trashing everything that does not conform to his philosophy and unerring (in his eyes) World View.
    The Crack Up is there for all to see, and it’s not pretty.

    I know that you’ll treat this nonsense with the disdain it deserves.

    My comment was brief over there:-

    “Just read through the BTL comments. It must be reassuring to have such erudite confirmation that your world view by 100 or so clackers is the correct one, the only one that makes sense, why can’t the rest of us see it?
    I seriously worry about the tone of this piece.”

    Campbell is advocating that between now and May the SNP leadership and NEC be forced to resign in some sort of disgrace, that a new leadership emerges approved by WoS handlers, Salmond and McAskill, a pro Independence party emerges with 100 or so candidates, all in Campbell’s image of course, and runs the May election as a plebiscite?

    It borders on Caligulan insanity.

    To deny that support for Independence is on the rise, despite/ because of the SNP Administration, is, frankly, subversion, delusion, or alarmingly hovering between neurotic and psychotic paranoia.
    Campbell is standing in a pot of gently simmering water.
    His pot his hotplate his water.

    • andyfromdunning says:

      Caligula!! He was a charmer Jack compared to some people who post on WoS, now here and elsewhere.

      • Perhaps Campbell and co will nominate a horse as one of the Regional Candidates?
        The UKIA bill passed through its third reading. Campbell may have been out feeding squirrels while Brewer and Kerr spent half an hour on Politics Scotland breaking down the detail in the bill and the destruction of Scotland’s Parliament?
        Oh, wait, Brewer and Kerr were chuntering on about poor students whom nobody told that if they went on the piss in Ashton Lane, and the poor landlords poured drink down their 18 year old necks to save the economy, until they couldn’t walk, and that ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ should have seen this coming….
        Nothing about Brewer’s ‘shedload of powers’ not returning to Scotland.
        Campbell has lost all interest in what used to be his day job. He is Salmond’s baseball bat now.

        BBC Scotland…one of the first casualties of Free Scotland.

        IT is beyond belief that this Brit Nat organ, staffed in the main by Scots Born hacks, gets away with this.
        Not for much longer.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Not so much Rev Campbell as Agent Campbell.

      • I do not agree
        I have great respect for WOS
        I do not agree with all their views
        But they are a strong Scottish independence asset

      • Mart says:

        Doesn’t need to be ‘Agent’ Campbell. I think a general level of misogyny leading to a personal hatred of First Minister Sturgeon is enough explanation.

        Campbell seems to have decided (in fact literally said so) that if an Independent Scotland does not live up to his bigoted ideals, then he doesn’t want it.

    • Capella says:

      Thanks for that resume of the latest barb from Bath. I had a look but couldn’t be bothered to read it all. It’s very sad what has happened to the Other Place. I stuck it out, intermittently, till I was banned. Maybe one day he will return to attacking the enemies of Scottish independence again. Hope so.

      • grizebard says:

        You were banned? Amazing. I can’t decide whether the man from Bath has lost the plot or he’s in a plot.

        But Jack is right, I took a peek back there myself yesterday and it’s a sorry wee bunch of monomaniacal ferrets in a sack, all furiously agreeing with their prophet. And most are new, very few of the old regulars left. Hardly surprising, since no disagreement is apparently tolerated now.

        It’s toxic, and it’s all being done on our money.

  53. bigjon999 says:

    I hope you can control the trollers and haters on your comment section. Your articles and ideas are inspiring to me and help keep up my spirits when everything seems to be closing in a gloomy.
    More power to your elbow 🙂

  54. raineach says:

    TBH, I think we as a movement are coming to the end of a phase of internal distraction. Those who are serious Yes activists, and have been campaigning for several years, are not abandoning the SNP, even if they are critical of this or that aspect of them. They are far more upset by the antics of certain formerly important players whose theories initially attracted attention but are now more generally just not listened to. As they are ignored the volume of wailing increases but I expect that volume to decline as they use up their oxygen. The timing of their campaign of complaints is good for the rest of us as they will have used up their energy supply long before the election. I think most supporters realise that we cannot – as the next thing we do – either simply declare UDI or simply hold a referendum. We accept this is as unrealistic as yogic flying. Oh, and membership at least of my branch of the SNP is up [about 5% in the last 3 months] and is as high as it’s ever been. This site is the moral conscience of our movement and it will outlast the critics from elsewhere.

    • Ditto, raineach.
      Worth repeating loud and often.
      ” This site is the moral conscience of our movement and it will outlast the critics from elsewhere.”

      • Dr Jim says:

        When it comes right down to it those who support Independence will vote for it no matter what they chunter on about at the moment, but remember, the guy who’s trying to persuade them not to vote for Independence doesn’t have a vote in this country about anything

  55. Ken2 says:

    Here we go. Here we go. The EU launches legal action against the UK Tories for breaking the terms of the Withdrawal Treaty.

    The Tories will be out of Office before any Brexit can be completed. Universal liars. Liars always get found out. Wasting £Billions of public monies. An absolute disgrace, in absolute turmoil. Johnston will be out.

  56. Ken2 says:

    The Tories have to agree to decision of the (international) Court for 4+ years. They will be out of Office before that. Someone else will have to clear up their mess. As usual. Total incompetents. Embarrassing. The disgrace. Who wants the poison chalice?

    The Tories have already admitted they are carrying on illegally. They do not have a leg to stand on. They are facing massive fines. £Billions. £Billions wasted.

    Non Brexit has already cost more than the entire EU contribution ever made. (Which come back). It will cost £Billions wasted even more. The Tory psycho bastards at the public trough.

  57. Dr Jim says:

    Bojo out before Christmas are the noises coming from Westminster leaky Tories, they decided to realise that his *Holy Roman Emperor* style is the *wrong approach* according to Sky news

  58. Arthur Thomson says:

    Paul, I am very sorry to hear that you are being assailed by lunatics because of your work. Naively I hadn’t considered that you would be under that pressure. Having seen some of the tweets received by the FM and others it should have been obvious but strangely it didn’t cross my mind.

    If there is any way I can be of help please just let me know. I’m not easily offended, have a fair bit of time and would be happy to weed out any trash if that would be helpful and practicable. It can’t be good for you even to begin to read obscene comments directed at you and it must surely be avoidable and avoided.

    I’m sure plenty of others feel as I do but I will help in any way I can. Your work has been invaluable to us. Thank you.

  59. Hamish100 says:

    I see maccaskill is on WoS again. If he has concerns can he email me direct as a SNP member?
    As an MP can he get on with his day job?

    • J Galt says:

      Mr MacAskill has asked perfectly legitimate questions regarding the availability of the SNP’s annual accounts which appear to be being withheld deliberately.

      The delay may be innocent – I don’t know, if there is nothing to hide, good, however the unusual delay only raises suspicion.

      • Alex Clark says:

        The electoral commission have not published the accounts for 2019 of any of the major parties.

        Why are there those that are getting their knickers in a twist over the SNP accounts when none of the other parties have published theirs either? Oh I know, SNP BAD.

        You can check past accounts for all the parties here and you will find there are none from the Tories, Labour or the Lib Dems either for 2019. What a surprise

        https://tinyurl.com/y93bfvw3

        • J Galt says:

          Well Mr MacAskill MP appears to think it somewhat unusual that he is being stonewalled in his quest to have sight of said accounts.

      • Hamish100 says:

        JG
        appear to be being withheld deliberately.

        The delay may be innocent – I don’t know, — No, but let’s insinuate. Still my issue is why the MP doesn’t speak to snp members first but to WoS? Strange, non?

        • Eilidh says:

          If McAskill was my MP I wouldn’t be voting for him again. He has no credibility left after posting more than once on the Bam from Bath’s blog which is full of mysoginst bile most days. He is embarrassing himself and not helping Alex Salmond either by posting there

    • jfngw says:

      The people of Waco are getting all excited about the Tories attacking the SNP.

      One thing that I don’t understand is why is Peter Murrell being asked to provide any evidence, what exactly can he say regarding the internal procedures of the Scottish Government. The alleged WhatsApp message has nothing to do with this inquiry that I can see,.

      • jfngw says:

        Sorry Hamish100, this was not meant to be a reply to you. Started one earlier but deleted it before posting, must have not refreshed my browser and I used the same reply box. I’ll get this web stuff right eventually.

      • Mart says:

        Duh. Of course Peter Murrell is being asked. It is impossible that the wee wifey has any agency, you know, it’s all the man’s responsibility.

        (Sarcasm at the obvious misogyny, of course)

  60. Mark Robertson says:

    Stop being so good at your job Pau! l Lye down and let the yoon scum tickle your belly and then maybe the abuse given to you will cease
    Tapadh leibh and Slainte Mhath Mate your a legend !!

  61. Dr Jim says:

    So the FM has supplied written evidence to the committee who have refused to publish that evidence, the FM has offered on several occasions to give oral evidence to the committee and the committee have refused to call her to do that, now the committee say they expect the FM to answer questions on other people’s behalf which is the most ludicrous suggestion I’ve ever heard

    So now we have a situation where the Tories Labour and the Lib Dems are using this committee to further discredit Alex Salmond and the SNP and then a couple of SNP reps trying to discredit the FM leading to what exactly? because if one half of the committee desire the demise of Alex Salmond the SNP and the Scottish government and the other half of the committee desire the demise of the FM and both sides are representing those personal interests then the committee itself will go nowhere and is a pointless and futile exercise in revenge politics that it can’t achieve resulting in todays debacle with Baroness Davidson on the verge of getting herself chucked out of the chamber because she can barely restrain herself from doing the same thing as Oliver Mundell because she’s not winning

    So the only recourse the conspirators seem to be left with is press media and internet squealing in a last ditch attempt to smear and cross their fingers that it’ll work, I think I can answer that with a pretty solid statement of Naw it won’t, and if there are any of the public even semi interested in any of this nonsense they’ll see it for what it now appears to be, a bunch of people with personal grudges and personal allegiances making fools of themselves over stuff that the public at large don’t give two monkeys about

    • Capella says:

      I thought NS answered Baroness Davidson’s smear attempts very well. She gave written evidence to the Harassment Committee two months ago, which they have not published, and is happy to appear in person but has not been called.

      There are legal restrictions on releasing some of the information now requested (for which there is no specified end date). The SG has asked the court for permission to release these. And no, she can’t answer for other people.

      What mountain of innuendo will the opposition and media be able to build on this? We will find out soon enough.

      • Capella says:

        Oh, I forgot, she recused herself at the very start of this process from influencing any decision making on the release or otherwise of documents because she was one of the people under scrutiny.

        • Alex Clark says:

          A fair summary of the actual position without any of the unnecessary bells and whistles that others like to add. It’s only the bells and whistles that give them a story, even though it may be a story without any substance as is the case here that Davidson was pushing.

    • grizebard says:

      a pointless and futile exercise in revenge politics

      That fairly neatly just about sums it up. The Tories are failing, and their last desperate play for survival is to latch onto petty personal grievances that – as you say – don’t matter a damn to ordinary people just trying to get by in difficult times. If people in the SNP drop the ball now and scupper the best opportunity we’ll likely ever have to prevail, there will be hell to pay. Cards are being marked here, and I don’t mean Nicola.

  62. Dr Jim says:

    I have two ladies in their 90s as neighbours both former Lib Dem and Tory voters who are now happy and prepared to vote SNP and Independence, and the sole reason why they want to do that is they watch Nicola Sturgeon every day deliver her Covid briefings and have both realised that she’s not what the other political parties said she was and are now her biggest *fans* from in the past being convinced she was the mortal enemy of Scotland

    Now I don’t expect I’m the only person in Scotland who has elderly neighbours exactly like this who have seen and heard the FM and realised the same thing, that’s how you do politics without doing politics, just be yourself and given the chance folk wake up and see it for themselves

    For sure the horrendous nature of Boris Johnson and his cronies have contributed to these conversions but it’s been the consistent effort and hard working good nature of the FM these folk are impressed by, they just didn’t get the chance to see it before the daily briefings, so tough luck and thanks for that BBC

    We hear of folk shooting themselves in the foot but the BBC blew their whole leg off with this one and try as they might they can’t get themselves out of it now without making it even worse for themselves

  63. Dr Jim says:

    I nearly forgot, happy Independence day to the country of Nigeria who gained their Independence from the Bringlish Empire 60 years ago today and even survived the starvation tactics employed by the Empire to crush them

    Most of us will still remember Biafra

  64. I do not believe that Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have become enemies.
    So much is said of this but never backed by convincing evidence

    As First Minister she had no choice but to agree that “time” should not be a bar to legal action against criminal offences.
    As First Minister she would not be able to influence the Procurator Fiscals Office in deciding if court proceedings were appropriate against Alex Salmond

    In Scotland the First Minister does not decide who gets charged with offences and who does not
    and thank goodness for that we don’t want politicians deciding who should be charged .

    Once accusations were made against Alex Salmond a court appearance was inevitable simply because there were so many accusers and that was right and proper
    Alex was found not guilty

    I do not think it justice that the ten who accused him of offences get to remain anonymous and I get the argument that to name them might put people off in future bringing such charges but it’s wrong to deny Alex Salmond of justice in order to give justice to future as yet unknown complainants in cases not yet in existence !

    If the ten women had won their case I’m certain all or most would have been eager to put their names in public view probably cashing in on newspaper stories, that’s what usually happens isn’t it.

    Alex won the court cases and was found not guilty but the ten continue anonymously along with their backers to blacken Alex,s name, that in my opinion is just plain badness and should be illegal.

    I think the future will show that Nicola Sturgeon remained neutral in Alex,s court case as befitted her office as First Minister
    I think the future will show Alex Salmond being happy that she did things correctly .

    They both support Scottish independence
    England’s Westminster will always forever be our to get them both
    That is what England’s Westminster have always done

  65. It’s an absolute disgrace

  66. Harry Andrews says:

    Hi Paul

    Please note my new email address: [removed] Keep up the good work – aiming for independence in my lifetime (75 next birthday BTW…)

    Cheers Harry

    >

    • weegingerdug says:

      Hi Harry – thanks for your updated contact details. I’ve edited your comment to remove your email address, phone number, and home address. I figure you don’t want them appearing on a public forum where the whole world can see them.

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